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T'gana CM leads delegation to take stock of Medigadda barrage

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Hyderabad, Feb 13 (PTI) Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, his cabinet colleagues and MLAs on Tuesday left for Medigadda barrage whose piers had "sunk" last year.

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Touted as the world’s largest multi-stage lift irrigation project, the barrage's pillars have developed cracks and, according to the National Dam Safety Authority, "pillars numbering 15 to 20 of the sixth to eighth blocks of the Medigadda (Laxmi) barrage of the Kaleswaram project had reportedly sunken on the night of October 21, 2023. The BRS government was in power then.

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, ministers and MLAs left in buses from the Legislative Assembly premises after the House was adjourned for the day.

Speaking in the assembly before leaving for Medigadda, Reddy said Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy had already invited MLAs from all parties, including opposition leader K Chandrasekhar Rao, to join the visit to Medigadda barrage.

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The chief minister said the irrigation minister would present a white paper on irrigation during the next couple of days in the assembly and a visit to the Medigadda barrage would help the MLAs, many of them newly-elected, to debate the issue.

The Congress government, after it came to power in December last year, had ordered an inquiry by the vigilance and enforcement personnel on the alleged irregularities in Medigadda and Annaram barrages and following media reports that some relevant files had vanished from offices because of some officials, he said.

The officials submitted a preliminary report on the "faulty constructions and negligence in maintenance", he added.

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The vigilance report should also be discussed in the House, Reddy said.

Recalling that the Kaleshwaram project was described as a "man-made wonder in world" during the previous BRS regime, the chief minister said BRS and opposition leader KCR should explain the facts by joining the visit to Medigadda barrage.

He also said the "government has kept its helicopter ready in the Begumpet airport" and that KCR can fly if he has trouble travelling by bus.

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Reddy recalled that the NDSA had submitted a report following an inspection to Medigadda barrage and that the previous BRS government found fault with the report.

The House can debate whether any wrong had happened vis-a-vis the barrage and as to who is responsible for it, he said.

Earlier when the House met for the day, Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who holds the finance portfolio, moved the motion on the vote on account budget 2024-25 and others as per procedures.

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Responding to the Medigadda barrage visit by the chief minister and others, BRS MLA T Harish Rao told reporters today that the Congress is trying to "throw mud" on BRS and playing politics over Medigadda barrage to seek mileage in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

While visiting Medigadda, the chief minister should also visit the reservoirs built during the BRS regime as part of the Kaleshwaram project to see how they benefited farmers, he said.

The assembly on Monday adopted a resolution that the state government shall not handover control of projects common to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Krishna river to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) unless the conditions put forth by the state are fulfilled.

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This came against the backdrop of BRS allegation that the Congress government had handed over projects to the KRMB, hurting the state's interests, which was denied by the government.

The NDSA had found in November last year that the Medigadda barrage has been severely compromised, rendering it useless unless fully rehabilitated.

The damage to the Medigadda barrage was also a major issue during the recent assembly polls. PTI SJR SJR KH

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